7 November 2002
RESISTING THE ‘GE OR DIE’ ULTIMATUM
A growing global alliance is emerging to resist the 'GE or die' ultimatum given to Southern Africa.
It already includes more than 100 development, farming, environment, religious, and social justice groups, including such diverse organisations as the World Development Movement, the Africa Faith and Justice Network, Greenpeace UK, the Deccan Development Society, the New Economics Foundation, and the Five Year Freeze.
Amongst the countries represented are Ghana, Malaysia, Ethiopia, Japan, Zambia, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Denmark, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Ecuador, Italy, Chile, the US, Spain, Bulgaria, India, the Philippines, Nepal, the Netherlands, Mexico, Australia, Finland, the UK, Germany, and New Zealand
PLEASE READ THE STATEMENT - IT'S VERY CLEAR AND SUCCINCT
Check out the peoples earth decade website from where this is taken
Resisting GE or Die Ultimatum
Thursday 7th November 2002
A coalition of NGOs have formed to register their opposition to the way in which US AID is foisting biotechnology on Africa during a time of famine.
These groups are to challenge current aid practices especially those of US AID and the WFP. Aid should be given in cash so that local produce can be bought supporting the regional economy and not disrupting local markets.
The US currently uses Aid as an extra subsidy for its own farmers and as a means to consolidate its biotech industry's control of global agriculture. A statement has been prepared and signed on to by 110 NGOs [see list].
Please read the statement and let us know if your group agrees with the principles. Please circulate to other groups who may be interested in signing on and ask them to forward their response to us at PED.
If AID was always given in cash then Zambia would not be in the position it is in now: having to choose between GE contamination or possible starvation for its people.
The right to reject GM Food Aid
Genetically modified (GM) food has been added to food aid since 1996. It has been reported that this has been done without the prior informed consent of recipient nations. In southern Africa the World Food Programme (WFP) and its largest donor Ë† the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Ë† have presented recipient nations with a stark choice; eat GM or starve.
The undersigned coalition of development, environment and consumer NGOs urge all parties to support the rights of recipient nations.
* We support a recipient country”šs right to refuse GM food aid. The Biosafety Protocol establishes this right.
*Southern Africa should not be forced to choose between starvation and GM food aid when there are plentiful supplies of non-GM food.
* We call on USAID to Å’untie”š its food aid policy and stop insisting on donating GM food in kind.
* We condemn the pressure applied by the US on poor countries to accept GM food aid.
* We are concerned by reports that the WFP has failed to obtain prior informed consent from recipient nations before distributing GM food.
* Nations should be free to apply the precautionary principle and choose aid that is appropriate and culturally and socially acceptable to its people.
* We recognise scientific opinion is divided on the safety issues of GM crops, especially when fed to hungry people as a staple diet and to those whose immune systems are weakened by illness, such as HIV/AIDS.
* We believe that GM food grains will contaminate local crop biodiversity and may harm local food production, deepen food insecurity and damage export markets.
* In the absence of internationally agreed pre-market assessments, we believe legal liability for unforeseen consequences of GM food, currently being offered as food aid, should be borne by the donor community.
The concerns of recipient nations about GM food have been dismissed as trivial when weighed against the threat of starvation. But it is a false choice. The choice presented does not recognise the rights of nations, the long-term implications of genetic engineering or the ready availability of non-GM food. We urge European countries Ë† who themselves exercise the precautionary principle with GM crops Ë† to ensure USAID and WFP act responsibly and deliver non-GM food aid to nations that request it.
1. Third World Network, Malaysia
2. ISIS, UK
3. Greenpeace, UK
4. Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, US
5. Adrian Dominican Sisters, USA
6. International People”šs Health Council, Nicaragua
7. GRAIN, Spain
8. R & R Foundation, US
9. SSJ Commission for Justice, US
10. International Academy of Ecology, Belarus
11. Genetic Food Alert, UK
12. The Gaia Trust, UK
13. Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
14. Organic Consumers Association, US
15. Center for Bio-diversitet, Denmark
16. United Church of Christ, Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility, US
17. Consumer Education Trust, Uganda
18. Center of Information and Advisory Services in Health, Nicaragua
19. Pesticides Action Network North America, US
20. Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First, US
21. Mothers for Natural Law, US
22. Community Nutrition Institute, US
23. Red de ComunicaciÃ³n de Morelos, Mexico
24. Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics, NZ
25. Washington Biotechnology Action Council, US
26. 49th Parallel Biotechnology Consortium, US/Canada
27. People”šs Education for a Sustainable Future, US
28. Centro Internazionale Crocevia, Italy
29. Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, US
30. Mankato Area Environmentalists, US
31. Organic and Fairtrade Tea and Spice Co., Germany
32. Intermediate Technology Development Group, UK
33. Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy, US
34. Ecology Society of the Philippines
35. South Australian Genetic Food Information Network, Australia
36. Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), Philippines
37. Pesticide Action Network, Philippines
38. International Indian Treaty Council, US
39. Tropical Forest, UK
40. Grupo de Tecnologia Alternatia S.C., Mexico
41. Allianza Chilena por un Comerio Justo y Responsible, Chile
42. Friends of the Å’Third World”š, US
43. Deccan Development Society, India
44. South Asia Network for Food, Ecology and Culture, India
45. AP Coalition in Defence of Diversity, India
46. Ecosouthwest, Bulgaria
47. GE-Free Bathurst, Australia
48. FoE, Spain
49. HIVOS, The Netherlands
50. Wisconsin Fair Trade Campaign, US
51. Seeds of Hope, India
52. International Group of Grassroots Initiatives, India
53. Pesticide Action Network Asia and Pacific, Malaysia
54. Anti-Globalisation Network, UK
55. Forum for Protection of Public Interest, Nepal
56. Swindon FoE, UK
57. MASIPAG, Philippines
58. Farmer Managed Irrigation Systems Promotion Trust, Nepal
59. Biodynamic Agricultural Association, UK
60. Hatof Foundation, Ghana
61. Ecopeace, Zambia
62. XminY Solidarityfunds, The Netherlands
63. World Development Movement, UK
64. Anguilla National Trust, Anguilla, British West Indies
65. ConfederaciÃ³n de Consumidores y Usuarios, Spain
66. Africa Faith and Justice Network
67. Pesticide Action Network, Aotearoa NZ
68. Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia.
69. The Edmonds Institute, US
70. Women, Food and Agriculture Network, US
71. Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, US
72. Green Part, Wales
73. Global Exchange, US
74. Justice and Peace desk - Diocese of Marbel, Philippines
75. UBINIG, Policy Research for Development Alternative, Bangladesh
76. The Daughters of Mary and Joseph, US
77. Both ENDS, The Netherlands
78. HDRA, UK
79. Organic Shrimp farm Poseidon CIA. Ltda, Ecuador
80. Jikyu Promotion Network, Japan
81. Environmental Justice Networking Forum, South Africa
82. Safe Food Coalition, South Africa
83. Center of Concern, US
84. Goede Waar & Co., The Netherlands
85. ANPED Northern Alliance for Sustainability, The Netherlands
86. The Soil Association, UK
87. The Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, US
88. ETC-Ecoculture, The Netherlands
89. People-Centered Development Forum, US
90. The Gaia Foundation, UK
91. WTO Watch, Australia
92. The New Eden Foundation, South Africa
93. Environmental Monitoring Group, South Africa
94. Find Your Feet, UK
95. Five Year Freeze, UK
96. Farming and Livestock Concern, UK
97. FoE, Finland
98. FoE, Malaysia
99. FoE, Ukraine
100. Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia
101. New Economics Foundation, UK
102. The Corner House, UK
103. Wildlife and Environment Society, South Africa
104. NOAH - Friends of the Earth, Denmark
105. Farmers' Voice, Bangladesh
106. Helvetas, Sri Lanka
107. Centro de InvestigaciÃ³n y CapacitaciÃ³n Rural A.C. (CEDICAR), México
108. Habitat Council, South Africa
109. Cape Environmental Trust, South Africa
110. Maine Green Independent Party, US
111. Pesticide Action Network, Germany